We have all been there at one point or another. We’ve worked tirelessly to prepare our resumes, spent countless hours scanning job boards and employer websites for that dream job, and rearranged our schedules to attend interviews with only a few days notice. Sometimes, we’ve confidently participated in several rounds of interviews with multiple company representatives and were certain we would soon receive that offer. Then, days go by, then weeks, and we didn’t get a call back. There are many reasons why an employer may not respond after the interview – some factors you can control to try to improve your chances next time, while others are simply due to reasons that we cannot change.
1. Change of Job Scope
One reason an employer may not get back to you following an interview could be that the scope of the job has been changed and the hiring manager may be working with HR to modify the job description. The hiring manager may have realized that the role entails more than previously thought or possibly that the role may need to be broken out into two separate positions. In these cases, generally, you will see a new or modified posting up within a few weeks. At this point, the recruitment and selection process will often start over from the beginning, or, they may select candidates they already interviewed who are a more ideal fit for the new position.
2. Internal Candidate Preference
Another mitigating factor could possibly have to do with an internal candidate who became interested in the role and applied for it after you participated in the interview process. Many times, employers will revisit the interview process if an internal candidate expresses interest. With the right skills and qualifications, internal candidates will, in most cases, have an edge over external prospective hires. If another candidate is selected, whether internally or externally, interviewees will rarely get a call back telling them they have not made the cut. This can be because employers are just too busy with onboarding and other activities and don’t have the time to get back to every applicant.
3. No Streamlined System to Communicate When They Selected Someone Else
HR Managers are typically time starved, and while they may have the best intentions of communicating the selection of another candidate, time slips away, and it keeps getting moved to the back burner.
1. Test Drive Your Interview Skills More
Most of the time, when a candidate does not get an update following a great interview, it is likely because someone else was thought to be a better fit in the eyes of the hiring team. You may have had all the necessary qualifications and experience, but another candidate may have been able to express themselves better during the interview or may have possibly highlighted better examples and achievements from their prior roles. For this reason, we recommend meeting with a career coach.
Career coaches often have an HR background or have been hiring managers themselves and they have a breadth of experience in understanding most career fields and their requirements. A career coach can sit down with you and conduct mock interviews to better prepare you to answer common interview questions and determine what achievements from your background are the ideal examples to discuss. They know exactly what a recruiter and hiring manager is looking for and can guide you through potential questions and answers so you stand out from the competition in your field and get a call back.
2. Thank You Letter
One final point that is an important MUST HAVE is a thank you letter. Always send out a customized thank you letter via old-fashioned postal mail to each person with whom you interview. If you do not know who to address the letter to, ask your interviewer for a business card so you have their name and mailing address. Many times, a thank you letter will remind a hiring manager about you, especially if you were an interviewee that he/she met early in the hiring process. The thank you letter will also demonstrate that you are truly interested in the company and position while highlighting your dedication above other candidates who likely did not take the time to send a thank you note.
No matter the reason you didn’t get a call back, hold your head high and know that you gave it your best. Another door will open and trust that it will be the right door!
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. – Alexander Graham Bell